New housing initiative brings roadshow to Fife town

Housing designed and managed by residents themselves is to be the subject of a roadshow coming to Fife.

Wednesday, 1st June 2022, 11:19 am

The event is the brainchild of Cohousing Scotland, the national Cohousing umbrella organisation.

It is part of a ’Places Called Home’ initiative, funded by IKEA and The National Lottery Community Fund.

As part of a Scottish tour, it visits Inverkeithing on Tuesday, June 7.

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The roadshow comes to Fife next week

Cohousing projects are run by their members.

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Residents look out for each other, enjoy shared common spaces but have their own, self-contained homes. Their communities often have a strong emphasis on environmental sustainability and ecological design.

The Inverkeithing event will build on plans - called Phoenix Cohousing - for community-led regeneration of a derelict former primary school, in the town centre, which were stalled by the onset of COVID.

Andrew Prendergast, Cohousing Scotland convener, said: "We want more people in Scotland to know about Cohousing and all it has to offer.

"Currently, housing provision centres on the commercial developer-led private sector, on the one hand, and state-led social provision on the other. We believe it is time to look to new and innovative ways to solve our country’s housing crisis."

He continued: "Cohousing Scotland sees a future where Cohousing is part of a thriving, community-led housing movement in Scotland - now is the time for change.”

Inverkeithing School Company Ltd, which owns the site, has been in discussion with Cohousing Scotland about selling to the community. It had originally earmarked the site for commercial housing.

The roadshow opens at Inverkeithing Civic Centre with an afternoon, drop-in session from 2.30pm-5:00pm.

A team of young architects from the 'Imagine If' collective will host an interactive game, exploring what ‘home’ means and what our living spaces could look like in the future.

From 7:00pm-8.30pm, a ‘Question Time’ type panel debate will lead a discussion about new directions for community-led housing.

Panellists include Councillors David Barratt, of The Inverkeithing Trust and Judy Hamilton of Fife Housing Partnership, plus Jan Benvie, of the Inverkeithing Cohousing group, Tom Morton, architect for Phoenix Cohousing and a trustee of Cohousing Scotland, and Diarmaid Lawlor, associate director (Place), Scottish Futures Trust.